On July 26, 2023, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security published an internal policy memorandum announcing two new measures the Office of Antiboycott Compliance will implement to enhance enforcement efforts and diminish participation by U.S. companies in boycott-related activities. The two announced enhancements are:
- The Boycott Reporting Form has been amended to require that U.S. persons reporting the receipt of a boycott-related request must now identify the specific party from whom the request was received. Previously, U.S. persons were only required to report the type of boycott request made and the country from which it came. Revising the form to require the identity of the party from which the boycott request was received is intended to assist in enforcement and also allow for “diplomatic engagement” to hold those foreign persons accountable.
- BIS will place an antiboycott policy statement on OAM and SAM.gov websites, in cooperation with the Department of Commerce’s Office of Acquisition Management, detailing the requirements of the antiboycott regulation and their applicability to U.S. government acquisition contracts.
The memorandum follows an October 6, 2022 policy memorandum in which the Office of Antiboycott Compliance made other changes to enhance compliance, increase transparency, incentivize deterrence and increase accountability. These actions included requiring companies entering into settlement agreements resulting from a violation to admit to their misconduct in a statement of facts. In also included the implementation of increased penalties, as well as announcing an increased focus on compliance by controlled foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent companies.
The BIS is charged with administering and enforcing the antiboycott laws under the Export Administration Act. These antiboycott laws were adopted to encourage and, in some circumstances, require U.S. companies to refuse to participate in foreign boycotts that the United States government does not sanction. According to BIS, the laws “have the effect of preventing U.S. firms from being used to implement foreign policies of other nations which run counter to U.S. policy.”